One day the late great Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes twirked his sweeping cavalry mustache, drawled to his chubby Irish protege, Tommy Corcoran :

"Sonny, that fellow is on the other side but I admire him more than any other man. That man is a monolith. There are no seams that the frost can get through. He is of one piece."

That man was Pierce Butler, who died one day last week, just before dawn. With this 220-lb., 6-foot-2-inch monolith died the last hopes of those who believe that the frost is getting...

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